WHO oks China as vax regulator

The fourth time is the charm for China when it comes to getting a World Health Organization sign-off on its vaccine-making regulatory system. The approval opens the door for the Middle Kingdom to become a supplier to the United Nations vaccine programs.

The WHO gave the nod to China's State Food and Drug Administration following an assessment by "experts" from six countries. The experts now find China in compliance; it had come up short in 1999, 2001 and 2005.

China is at last eligible to apply for WHO prequalification of specific products. That could happen in the next two years.

China attributes the approval to nearly two years of sticking to a roadmap developed by its own experts in conjunction with the WHO. It anticipates gaining a share of the UN's vaccine-procurement program.

- here's the WHO announcement